Central Park: The life aquatic

The life aquatic

The new Hillcrest Community Centre is open for business, which means residents are welcome to drop in, say hi to staff, tour the building and sign up for ongoing summer programs, including day camps, language classes, sports camps, dance and music, cooking, youth drop-in, boot camp, open gym, tai chi and more.

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The new Hillcrest Aquatic Centre has been a huge success since it opened a year ago and recently saw its one-millionth visitor. New to the aquatic centre this summer are two huge, inflatable water slides, Loopy the Dragon and the Zoom Extreme. The NHL-sized ice rink opens the first week in August, while administrative offices, a library, pre-school, curling club and field houses will begin operation in the fall.

Also new, coffee lovers will soon be able to get their next caffeine fix at the former 2010 Olympic centre in between borrowing books and going for a swim.

The park board approved a proposal this week that will see Blue Parrot Coffee Inc. set up shop within the community centre under a five-year operating agreement to provide food and beverage services, with an option to renew up to two additional five-year contracts.

The fee structure will see the park board receive 10 per cent of the annual gross revenues up to $800,000 and 15 per cent of anything over. Thats a lot of lattes.

Vancouverite Arkady Draliuk owns both Blue Parrot Coffee at Granville Island Public Market and Bean Brothers Café in Kerrisdale. The report doesnt delve into what kind of food will be served at the community centre location, which Im sure will cater to a lot of moms and young children.

Summer hours for the community centre are Monday to Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays. The pool and fitness centre are open weekends.

Let there be light

Advice for spectators hitting local parks and beaches to watch the annual Celebration of Light fireworks festival is simpleyou pack it in, you pack it out.

With thousands of spectators flocking to beaches, parks and streets to watch the displays, garbage is a significant problem. New this year are Zero Waste Stations, which will be set up at English Bay and Kits Beach to collect waste. Each waste station consists of three recycling containers for mixed paper, refundable containers and food scraps. Volunteers will be on hand at every station from 4 to 11 p.m. to assist the public in choosing the correct recycling option.

The park board is also asking spectators to refrain from digging holes in the sand because they create a dangerous situation for staff operating beach screening equipment thats used to remove buried debris. So again its simple, dont throw your garbage on the ground and dont dig holes. The Celebration of Light launched July 30 and ends with displays Aug. 3 and 6. This is the first year bleacher seating is available at a cost of between $35 and $45.

Budge it

Public input will be gathered regarding the draft capital plan until Aug. 9, so theres still time to give your two cents when it comes to the planning of large capital projects not only for the park board, but all city departments. Public meetings were held in July, but the public can still contribute by filling out an online survey at talkvancouver.com/capital-plan.

sthomas@vancourier.com

Twitter @sthomas10

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